We are developing a skills system that can drive improvements in social mobility and are doing this by implementing key skills reforms, which although are national policies, will benefit people in all areas and from all backgrounds.
The National Careers Service offers free careers information, advice and guidance to both young people and adults through a website and telephone helpline. Adults are also supported through the local community based service where face to face guidance is available.
The Adult Education Budget is used to engage adults, including those furthest from learning and the workplace, to provide them with the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning. It enables more tailored programmes of learning to be made available, which do not need to include a qualification.
Apprenticeships are accessible to people of all ages, and training can be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of people with children returning to part-time work or those needing to re-train. We are making apprenticeships longer and better, with more off-the job training and proper assessment at the end. New apprenticeship standards across all levels are being designed and driven by industry, which is creating higher quality training that will lead to a more skilled and productive economy. The new apprenticeships campaign, Fire It Up, was launched in January 2019. This campaign is working to increase the number of high quality apprenticeships offered and started, by changing the way people think about apprenticeships, demonstrating that they are an aspirational choice for anyone with passion and energy.
We are developing a National Retraining Scheme, which will help prepare adults for the future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them to retrain into better jobs. The scheme is being developed and rolled out in stages so that we can learn and adapt to users’ needs as we go. Learning from the career learning pilots, the Construction Skills Fund and the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund will inform how we can better engage adults about the opportunities and benefits of training.
We have been working with all local enterprise partnerships in the East Midlands to ensure that Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) are established by October 2019. SAPs aim to bring together local employers and skills providers, including colleges, independent training providers and universities, to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs and to work together to understand and address key local challenges, including helping to tackle local skills shortages. SAPs will help address both immediate needs and challenges and look at what is required to help local areas adapt to future labour market changes and to grasp future opportunities. This will help universities, colleges and other providers deliver the skills required by employers, now and in the future.